The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NY Aviators join Federal Hockey League!

Aviator Sports & Events Center
Hangar 5 · Floyd Bennett Field
Brooklyn, NY 11234

NY A's Hockey Team Moving to Federal League

6 Teams Start Training in October
60 Game Schedule Begins in November

Brooklyn, New York - March 26, 2010 - Aviator Sports & Events Center is proud to announce their New York Aviators Single "A" professional hockey team has joined the Federal Hockey League (, an international professional hockey association.

This will be the third season of professional hockey in Brooklyn. The undefeated New York A's will host 30 home games, which will be held primarily on Friday and Saturday nights so that families can easily attend.

Six teams will compete - from Akwesasne, Canada to Brooklyn, New York - with 3 teams in upstate NY, and another in Danbury, CT.

"The Federal Hockey League is pleased to welcome the Aviators to the league. We are impressed with the Aviator organization and their facility; they are a strong franchise with a great track record of professionalism. We look forward to a bright future together," says Don Kirnan, Commissioner of the Federal Hockey League.

"We are very excited to join the FHL," says Rob Miller, Head Coach and President of the New York Aviators. "The league not only increases competition, but also helps broaden community outreach."

Training camp starts on October 24 and the regular 60-game season starts November 5.

Marty welcomes Parkview Diner to Coney!

This is where the old 50s retro Diner used to be on the Belt

On Tuesday, March 30, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz stopped by the new Parkview Diner in Gravesend/Coney Island and presented a grand opening proclamation to owners Mike Siderakis and Gus Siklas, welcoming them to Brooklyn. Siderakis, who has owned the Cross Bay Diner in Howard Beach, Queens since 2001, chose the location because of the growth in the area, particularly the redevelopment of Coney Island.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brooklyn Cyclones miniplans

We just got ours. Remember free food with every ticket and Fireworks at Friday & Saturday games this year!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Video - 60 Minutes interviews new Nets owner

Marty talks year round Coney

NY1 Excerpt -

Later this spring, 19 rides will make their debut at Coney Island when the new Luna Park opens its doors Memorial Day.

"It'll mean jobs for residents of Coney Island, it'll mean a Coney Island season that'll be year around, amusements and entertainment for residents of Brooklyn and the entire New York region," Markowitz said.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The storm took 53 trees down in Marine Park

My favorite park. I understand it is open but part of the parking lot is roped off on Avenue U. The first few days after the storm all you saw were workers clearing trees. In Spring and Fall this is the best park in Brooklyn, pre and post beach season. Let's get it ready for April! Everybody in South Brooklyn goes there!

Courier Life excerpt -

“It’s really too soon to discuss replanting strategies for those trees lost by the storm,” a Parks Department spokesman said. “They will be replaced, but we’re still assessing all of the areas affected.”

Major said that 53 trees were knocked over in Marine Park — which is already quite spartan when it comes to flaura and fauna. An additional 60 trees were knocked over in the surrounding neighborhood, Major explained, adding that the storm slayed 350 trees from Bay Ridge to Canarsie.

Right now all of these dead, broken evergreens and oaks are being dragged to Marine Park, which has become a makeshift morgue in the city’s clean up efforts.

The toppled over trunks and shattered and severed limbs will stay in the park until they are carted off to Queens to be chipped, Major said.

Dorthy Turano, District Manager for Community Board 18, said it was “hard to believe” that there were no plans to replace the fallen trees.

“We would never let that park be neglected,” she said. “When I grew up, that was my park. That’s our treasure. You can bet your bottom dollar that they’re going to be replaced, even if I have to replant those trees myself.”

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Domenic submits testimony on landmarking

As the Council Member for Coney Island, I would like to express my full support for landmarking both the Shore Theater building and the Childs Restaurant building. I believe that both of these buildings are incredibly important, both historically and aesthetically, to Coney Island, and they should be preserved at a time that we’re embarking on a major revitalization of the neighborhood.

The Shore Theater, at 1301 Surf Avenue, was constructed in 1925, and served as a live performance vaudeville venue and a movie house. At the time of its construction, it represented optimism for the future of Coney Island as a world-class entertainment destination, and it was one of the first permanent fixtures on the waterfront’s skyline. Unfortunately, time took its toll, and the building has sat vacant since the 1970s. My dream is that by landmarking this theater, live theater will flourish once again in Coney Island.

The Childs Restaurant building, at 1208 Surf Avenue, predates the Shore Theater. It was built in 1917, and was originally constructed as part of Childs, a cafeteria-style restaurant chain that originated in Manhattan in the 1880s. This is one of two Childs buildings in Coney Island – the other, on the Boardwalk, was landmarked in 2003. The building has been home to the Blue Bird Casino and David Rosen’s Wonderland Circus Sideshow, one of Coney Island historic and legendary attractions. It is currently home to Coney Island USA, a non-profit organization that strives to maintain the unique culture and heritage of Coney Island.

I believe both of these buildings are historically significant to the neighborhood. Even today, they serve as beacons to our past, and by protecting them, we protect the history of Coney Island. By approving this landmarking, you will ensure that while we move forward in our redevelopment, we can maintain the spirit and excitement of what makes Coney Island a world-class entertainment destination.

Full page ad for the Barclays Center in this week's Bay News

Loved it! How important is this arena to get back Brooklyn's respect! Amazing!


Atlantic Yards Report posted the ad here. It's obviously running in several newspapers-

Friday, March 26, 2010

Muscle's Viewpoint

I believe both the Shore Theater and the CIUSA building have a very good chance of being landmarked simply because Recchia has stated in the press about his approval for activating and landmarking the theater. And CIUSA owns its building and is for landmarking.

What I would like to reiterate is that I strongly believe there is a movement to landmark just about every building in the amusement area in order to stop hotel development. I also believe this movement has zero chance of accomplishing its goals. The zoning and the $150 million in infrastructure both speak loud and clear on this particular issue.

Bullard may not fight landmarking Shore Theater

Brooklyn Paper excerpt -

Regardless, Bullard wasn’t gearing up for a showdown and said he would try and bring entertainment to the building — though the situation was far from ideal.

“No, I’m not in the mood to fight. If they think it’s the right thing to do, that’s fine,” he said. “But once the city [landmarks] these types of buildings, they become a money pit.”

Ballet and Philharmonic at Coney Amphitheater

NY Post excerpt -

Marty Markowitz wants to add a little panache to his planned Coney Island amphitheater.

The borough president’s $64 million pet project is already slated to host his summertime concert series, but now the Parks Department is looking for a top philharmonic, ballet group or other performance troupe to occupy the venue at Asser Levy Park during the rest of the warm-weather days and nights.

The Department today began soliciting proposals from parties interested in offering programming beyond the beep’s concert series and maintaining the amphitheater.

The 8,000-seat project, which is still awaiting city Design Commission approval, has yet to break ground and isn’t expected to be operating until at least 2012.

Markowitz said "the possibilities are endless" for the planned open-air amphitheater, adding he imagines it becoming "a wonderful home for a summer residency for a philharmonic or a ballet company."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brooklyn Real Estate Summit June 16th

Brooklyn Eagle excerpts -

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The distressed real estate market, retail attraction and retention and large developments in Brooklyn are among the topics to be discussed at the Brooklyn Real Estate Summit planned for June 16 at St. Francis College.

Among the panel discussions planned for the all-day event are:

• Atlantic Yards and Coney Island: Riding the Coattails of Large Developments

Video - Joe Sitt talks housing market on CNBC

As you can see Sitt is very upbeat on the NY market. For those that think Joe will ever leave Coney.............Think Again! :)

I have said it many times - Coney Island will be the Signature Development in the United States over the next decade.

NY Post - Ziggy talks year round Coney

Excerpt -

Horace, cash out now, and we'll call it the Bullard Center for the Performing Arts!" offered sideshow operator Dick Zigun during a hearing by the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday on proposed historic designation for the 1925 theater.

The 2,500-seat theater has been closed to the public for 35 years. But with new development and a revamped amusement park coming to Coney Island, speculation has risen over reopening the theater.

Zigun said it could host big-time events, from circus acts to concerts: "It fits perfectly into the city's plan to turn Coney Island into a year-round destination."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park Website

Man is this going to be a great new park for Brooklyn!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Video - Grand Opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park!

"What Prospect Park was for the 19th Century, Brooklyn Bridge Park will be for the 21st," said Borough President Markowitz. "I am delighted that this emerald by the East River is open. For visitors from Manhattan, now all it takes is a quick trip across the bridge to discover what residents here already know: the grass is always greener in Brooklyn."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Upcoming Spring Festivals at Aviator Sports

Kings County Fair

Thursday, May 13 – Sunday, May 23
10 days of springtime fun at Aviator!
Tons of rides for family amusement and thrills, including a 200 ft high environmentally friendly Ferris Wheel, a German built Tornado, the Giant Dutch Wheel, the Tilt-A-Whirl, Carousel, Orient Express, Fire Chief, Dizzy Dragons and much more!

3rd Annual Renaissance Faire

Saturday, May 22 & Sunday, May 23
Live Jousting, Trebuchet Demonstration, Food, Wine and Spirits, Kids Entertainment, and Much More! Spectators, Artisans & Merchants.
If you have questions or need more information, call Joe Monetti at 718-758 7526, or email For a Vendor Registration Form, Click here.

2nd Annual Brooklyn Irish Festival

Saturday, June 26 – Sunday, June 27
Click here for Vendor Registration.
For more information, call Anna Gianotti 718-758 -7582, or email

The Native American Festival

Friday, June 4: 10am – 5pm Sat, June 5 & Sun, June 6: 11am – 7pm
This celebration is the largest Native American gathering in New York City.
For 16 years, this location has served as the site for “Gateway to Nations” – a festival which brings over 1,000 Native American, artists, performers and educators from across the Americas demonstrating the finest in Native American song, dance, drumming, food, art and crafts.
More info: 718 686-9297 or

Saturday, March 20, 2010

John Strong has been banned from the CIUSA message board

Seems like the Coney sideshow wars have already begun.

Muscle's viewpoint on all the recent news

As we see the economic environment slowly improving there will be a reacceleration of development in Brooklyn. It will take some time. The government is doing its part by passing zoning and investing in necessary infrastructure.

Make no mistake about it - The development renaissance that has already completely changed Downtown Brooklyn over the last decade, and is continuing now with Atlantic Yards, will have a huge effect on Coney Island's future development scenerio. Major development will move south in Brooklyn. It is inevitable.

Meanwhile, this summer season puts Coney Island back on the map!

City Point moving forward

Brooklyn Eagle excerpts-

City Point/Albee Square Phase I Design Moves Forward in Approval Process
by Linda Collins (
), published online 03-16-2010
Final Approval by Public Design Commission Expected in April

Compiled by Linda CollinsBrooklyn Daily Eagle

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — City Point’s Phase IA design got the approval of Community Board 2 (CB 2) last week.

The full board voted unanimously (with one abstention) to uphold its Land Use Committee’s vote to recommend approval to the NYC Public Design Commission, according to Robert Perris, district manager for CB 2.

As previously reported in the Eagle, the Public Design Commission gave the plan preliminary approval in February.

The Phase IA design for the City Point development at One Dekalb Ave., the former Albee Square Mall, calls for a building that will house 50,000 square feet of retail space, will cost under $30 million and will only occupy that portion of the site facing Fulton Mall, according to Paul Travis of Washington Square Partners, one of the developers who spoke at the Land Use Committee meeting.

Travis also discussed a plan for the interim use of the remainder of the construction site — approximately 30,000 square feet — in which shipping containers would house a temporary crafts market to the benefit of small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Reached Tuesday, Tom Montvel-Cohen, a consultant and spokesperson for the developer, now operating as Albee Development LLC, said he was pleased with the CB 2 vote.

“We are hoping for final approval by the Public Design Commission in April,” he told the Eagle. “And we look forward to breaking ground shortly after.”

Brooklyn Eagle - 5 Major Developments including Coney

Excerpts -

There are five major development projects on the stage worthy of note. (Before the EPA decision on the Gowanus Canal, there was a sixth, but even Time magazine is discouraged. It wrote in the March 22 issue, “The EPA’s decision and the stigma that comes with it have deferred dreams of a Gowanus renaissance, if not quashed them altogether.”

But not quashed and nearing center stage are Brooklyn Bridge Park, Atlantic Yards, Coney Island, the Flatbush Avenue Extension and City Point.

Outside of the Downtown area, it should also be noted for the record that the big stumbling block to the redevelopment of Coney Island has been thrown off the long pier. Not only have property rights been settled, but a developer has been chosen. Many new rides have been promised for this summer at the entertainment center.

There will continue to be friction and debate as other development projects proceed regarding residential complexes, hotels and retail activities. But it should be kept front and center that when all this ends, if it ever does, there will be a brand new and quite different Coney Island.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park to open on Monday!!!

NY Post excerpt -

It took more than 25 years of planning, but the first segment of Brooklyn Bridge Park is finally set to open Monday along Pier 1 at Fulton Ferry Landing.

Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and other state and city officials will officially open the park with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, according to invitations distributed today. Pier 1 will include grassy hills, an esplanade overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and an elevated wine bar.

Another piece of the 85-acre waterfront park is expected to open at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights next month.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This sideshow competition will be something else

Wow! This will be something to follow. I wonder if anybody really thought Thor would stay and put John Strong in the mix for 3 years? People have to be thrown for a loop on this one.

Joe Sitt is nobody to underestimate. This looks like a very tactical move.

3 Year Strong Deal!!!!

See what I mean about people realizing Thor is in this for years to come?!!! Take a look at this link

People are starting to realize Thor is in this for the long haul

This is going into the next administration no doubt. Meanwhile Coney's summer success is going to attract huge interest from the development community as the city puts in the infrastructure for year round Coney!

The deal consummated by the city with Thor puts Coney in year round development mode after the $150 million in infrastructure takes hold. My estimate is 3-5 years.

Meanwhile this summer is taking shape with announcements of the new Luna Park, Ringling Bros, and John Strong Shows thus far. The more summer success the better the chance for hotels, retail, restaurants, movies, bowling etc for Coney East.

Seems like everything is going exactly as planned from the start. What a great Summer it will be!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

John Strong Shows returning to Coney Island

And in a big way! What's the old saying -Be careful what you wish for folks, because you may just get it.

There will be major sideshow competition in Coney this summer.

Ringling Bros returning to Coney!

Man are things looking up!

NY Daily News -

Wednesday, March 17th 2010, 4:00 AM

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will return to Coney Island this summer.

The circus is back in town.

After months of wrangling, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has struck a deal to return to Coney Island this summer.

"We're very excited to have the circus back. It's a great draw," said Councilman Dominic Recchia (D-Coney Island), who said the show would run from June through Labor Day.

Ringling Brothers will pitch tents on the same W. 21st St. lot where it made a Coney debut last summer.

The show drew thousands to the faded seaside mecca, but its return was cast into doubt as the circus and landlord Taconic Investment Partners squabbled over money - and what to do with the school buses parked on the lot under a separate lease with Taconic.

Ringling Brothers officials, who had expected to have return plans finalized by last fall, threatened to take their show on the road if there was no deal by this month.

Under the new agreement, the buses will be moved to a city-owned lot on W. 29th St.

Circus officials declined to comment before papers were signed to make the deal official, but they previously promised that if they were able to come to Coney, they'd put on a brand new show called "Illuscination."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

NY Post - Barclays Center vs. Madison Square Garden

Excerpt -

Barclays Center looks to poach MSG events
Last Updated: 4:20 AM, March 11, 2010
Brooklyn's new Nets arena is hustling to fill seats before it has even broken ground.

Enlisting the help of sports and entertainment marketing powerhouse IMG, the $800 million Barclays Center is gearing up for a rivalry with storied Madison Square Garden.

Among other events, IMG is going after men's college basketball, an area that the Garden -- "The mecca of basketball" -- has long dominated.

The Manhattan venue will host 46 college games this season and is currently home to the Big East men's basketball conference tournament this week.

Tom Stultz, senior vice president of IMG's college sports division, which counts top-ranked Kentucky and Ohio State among its clients, maintains that the appetite for college basketball is big enough to support more games in Brooklyn.

"It just lends itself to different types of events," Stultz said. "Hopefully, there will be good competition, which will be good for fans and consumers."

The Brooklyn arena, which is being developed by Bruce Ratner, is also looking at boxing -- another Garden fixture -- as well as tennis matches, concerts and family shows.

Read more:

The misconception about attracting year round development to Coney

Many amusement enthusiasts seem to believe that the advent of Luna Park means Coney Island will stay just a summer attraction. This could not be more off base thinking. The success of warm weather attractions such as Luna Park, MCU Park and Seaside Park serve to enhance the visibility of Coney Island in the development community.

It is very obvious that in order to attract year round development - hotel, restaurants etc., it is absolutely imperative for Luna Park to truly be a major success this summer and in future summers in Coney Island.

In fact year round development's future in Coney East rests firmly in the success of Luna Park during the summer. Without this success there is absolutely no chance for big hotels, restaurants or entertainment retail to get interested in the area.

Development attracts Development. That's business.

Analysis of the Coney zoning

We all know hotels, movie theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants, and indoor amusements were part of the zoning in Coney East. All of these elements were fought for pretty heavily by Thor Equities and were included. Also part of the announcement to sell the outdoor amusement parkland portion was an announcement of $150 million in infrastructure money from the city for Coney Island. A huge part of redeveloping Coney Island year round.

That $150 million in total infrastructure is going to take time. At least 3-5 years in my estimation. That takes a good portion of the year round development into the next administration where we will have a new mayor and new Borough President.

One of the parts of the zoning in Coney East was small retail. I believe Thor lobbied for larger retail square footage. Since Thor already got the zoning for hotels, movies, restaurants etc, AND the infrastructure makes most of this possible in a few years, will Thor just wait to try to get a zoning variance for larger retail in the current zoning?

My guess is yes. After all it is very possible we could see a new administration in 4 years that is even more favorable towards Coney year round development than the current administration, That seems hard to believe, but what if Anthony Weiner and Domenic Recchia become mayor and Borough President? It's quite possible.

Thor is in a perfect position to wait the 4 years since the infrastructure investment most likely will take that long. A good part of the year round zoning is already won. Why not go for larger retail as well?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Watch Out Manhattan, Here Comes Brooklyn!

May 29th - The beginnings of the New Coney Island

2012 - The new Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Arena

The redevelopment of Brooklyn has just begun! Wow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Let's Go Brooklyn Nets!!!!!!


Daily News Editorial Excerpts

Let's go, Nets! Hoop reality comes to Brooklyn with arena groundbreaking


Friday, March 12th 2010, 4:00 AM

New York has been on a half-century losing streak as far as sports teams are concerned. First the Dodgers and the baseball Giants, then the football Giants and the Jets left for elsewheres near and far.

But now the pro basketball Nets are moving in. And they're coming to a new 18,000-seat arena to be built in the heart of Brooklyn. How great is that? Plenty great.

Congratulations to team owner and real estate developer Bruce Ratner on the successful completion of a seven-year battle to get moving on the so-called Atlantic Yards project in the face of no fewer than 34 lawsuits in opposition.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Replay of Today's Press Conference Here

What an unbelievably great day for BROOKLYN!!!!

Marty's Dream Coming True For Brooklyn

From Today's Press Release

“What began for me as a dream of bringing a major league sports team back to Brooklyn for the first time since our beloved ‘Brooklyn Bums’ skipped town when I was just a boy, has culminated with this groundbreaking on something even I couldn’t have envisioned—an Atlantic Yards complex that will bring the innovative Barclays Center, affordable housing, union jobs, and permanent employment opportunities to our nation’s fourth largest city,” Borough President Marty Markowitz said. “Brooklyn deserves nothing less—and although it has been a long road to this moment, it was the commitment of Bruce Ratner, Forest City Ratner Companies, the NETS organization, and the City that turned my vision into something that will boost our borough’s economy, pride and reputation as a world-class sports city, and kept this project off the sidelines and firmly on center court. There’s only one thing more exciting than putting a shovel in the ground today—being in the Barclays Center on opening night and welcoming our Brooklyn NETS and their diehard fans to the home of the soon-to-be NBA champions!”

Watch the Arena Groundbreaking today live at 1:15

Watch it here

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Times Square and Metrotech to Coney and Atlantic Yards

Following the new developments in Brooklyn, it is interesting to note that Bruce Ratner has even mentioned numerous times in the press that there was much more opposition and obstacles to overcome for Metrotech than there has been for Atlantic Yards.

If you look back at the Times Square development process and Metrotech, the amount of opposition this time around for Coney Island and Atlantic Yards has not been impressive at all. In reality, it hasn't accomplished anything except to delay development a bit.

You can look back at Coney Island in particular and this NY Times article from a couple of years ago spelled it out pretty clearly. This outline is extremely close to what eventually happened in final zoning. It turned out to be almost exact-

As Brooklyn moves ahead expect the 150 million in infrastructure to take a 3-4 years for year round Coney Island development (hotels, retail etc) to begin. It will become a mini Times Square on the beach. But in the meantime Luna Park will attract more year round development interest in Coney and will open this year, and Atlantic Yards construction begins this Thursday!

Brooklyn development progress is in high gear now! The opposition accomplished absolutely nothing but delays.

Does anybody remember the Times Square and Metrotech opposition today???

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Recchia's Blog - Jobs at Luna Park

Excerpt -

Jobs at Luna Park
Central Amusement International, which was chosen to be the amusement operator for Coney Island, has started a blog, which you can follow here.

But more importantly, they’ve posted their job application. They’re filling positions for ride operators, park services, retail, first aid assistants & EMTs, maintenance technicians, game operators, food & beverage servers, ticket sellers and logistics associates.

NY Times- Nets Laud Newark Home as Bridge to Brooklyn

Excerpt -

Nets Laud Future Newark Home as a Bridge to Brooklyn

Published: March 5, 2010
NEWARK — For a team that has won 6 of its 61 games this season, the future is all
the Nets have

On Friday, they celebrated their anticipated two-year layover at the Prudential Center with a news conference followed by a one-on-one matchup between Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark and Darryl Dawkins, the former Nets center, on a halfcourt set up inside one of the arena’s cylindrical glass towers. Booker scored on a layup.

And on Thursday, the team will break ground on its ultimate, if long-delayed, destination: the Barclays Center, near downtown Brooklyn, which is part of the 22-acre Atlantic Yards project.

Video - NY1 talks to Luna Park Developer

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Atlantic Yards to Break Ground March 11th

Daily News -

Judge gives Atlantic Yards project the green light; Ratner plans to break ground
Mar. 11

Monday, March 1st 2010, 6:59 PM

Developer Bruce Ratner is planning to break ground in Brooklyn next week on a new Nets arena after a judge handed private property to the state for the Atlantic Yards project.

"Today's court ruling marks the transition from the obstruction to the construction phase," Forest City Ratner executive vice president Bruce Bender said Monday.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Abraham Gerges tossed a challenge to the eminent domain condemnation - a final blow to property owners who fought the wrecking ball for six years.

Read more: